Goswami Tulsidas, one of the greatest poet-saints of medieval India in the 16th century, was a great philosopher, keen observer of the world around him, devotee par-excellence of Sri Ram, an enlightened soul with vision, insight and foresight laced not only with wisdom, intelligence, prudence, practicability and grasp of the essence, but also with breadth, depth, intensity, sincerity and conviction.
In order to codify, expound and propagate what he thought was wise and which he cherished in his mind and heart for the benefit of mankind, Tulsidas used the tool of local vernacular dialect called 'Avadhi' which was the language of the common people in ancient Ayodhy region. He wrote his compositions in a florid, cid, succulent but succinct and poetic 'sing-song' melodious style so as to appeal to the general masses - the 'crowd', as well as the expert, intellectual, seekers of truth and exalted one which we can call the - 'connoisseurs'.
His views and ideas cover a wide range of topics impinging profoundly, directly or indirectly, on day-to-day life and its affairs - polity and political science; good, virtuous, noble conduct; love, devotion, renunciation, remembrance of the Lord and related spiritual matters; morality, ethics, probity, propriety, righteousness and other values; rules for household, mendicant, ascetics, hermits and mystics; for kings, ministers, servants and royal subjects; for teachers - preachers and students - disciples alike - in short, all conceivable spheres of like, and a vast canvas of spiritualism, metaphysics, mysticism, politics, Dharma etc.
The present book titled 'Dohawali' consists of a motley collection of 2 line couplets/verses called 'Dohas' totaling 573 in number. They are highly devotional, philosophical, ideological, perceptive; guiding us with numerous 'dos-and-don 'ts' on various aspects of life of our times. They show his vision, wisdom, concepts, deep understandings and clarity of thought about intricate nature of things.
Mere words of the 'Dohas' tell us little, unless the subtle, hidden meanings are deciphered and peeled clinically to reveal the Pearls of Wisdom they contain, like peas in the pod. The Dohas are like 'Pearls, jewels, gems of the finest wisdom displayed in a platter called Dohawali 'for all to pick and choose, recognise and understand their value, and benefit from them according to their own individual needs, inclinations, aptitude and intellect.
Tulsidas was totally against heresies, false doctrines and superstitions. A number of Dohas reflect this in Dohawali.
Dohawali, in one sense, is not a 'garland of verses' as it were, for the verses are not strictly in any systematic arrangement; not strung together like beads of a rosary or flowers of a garland. They are not homogeneous in subject content, but a motley of free-flowing, free-lancing, random jotting-down collection of ideas and views as and when they occurred to the poet. One verse or group of verses seem to have been delinked with the ones preceeding or proceeding them. This is why Dohawali is called a But nevertheless, they are peerless in wisdom, insight and foresight, and are ageless- very much relevant even today as they were when written.
Therefore, one of the best ways, in my humble view, to describe Dohawali is 'A Platter full of 573 priceless Pearls, Gems and Jewels of high Wisdom; or to use a cliché, a 'Buffet of Wisdom' so to say I was inspired - by the will and grace of Lord Sri Ram - to take up this task of translating and, as far as 'dim-wittingly' possible, explain these golden verses of Dohawali in English.
Translation of the verses have been attempted with an eye to preserve faithfully the original text, but where the idea needs explanations and elaborations, additions have been inserted in brackets. It is like 'reading between the lines'. Therefore, at times the rendering appears a bit odd and disjointed, but a second reading will clear the matters beyond doubt. At places, where one word was not sufficient to cover the entire gamut of all the hues and shades of what Tulsidas perhaps meant, a cluster of words have been used- not to confuse the reader, but to clarify that the single word of Tulsidas should not be construed as being limiting in meaning or scope.
For certain words, which have repeatedly appeared in the verses, a short glossary is added at the end for reference and convenience. Similarly since the Dohas are a motley collection, a brief contents in the beginning lists the major topics under which the verses can be classified, along with their individual numbers. A short Biography of Tulsidas is also included in this compilation.
It would also be noted that number of verses in Dohawali appear in Tulsidas' epic Ram Charit Manas; a list of such verses in specially added. As to why some were selected for Ram Charit Manas and others not, it appears that melody and simplicity of narration might have been Tulsidas' criterion. But no one can be sure. Further, to justify his observations, Tulsidas has cited examples and made comparisons which are not only remarkable in their selection but also most appropriate for the occasion.
I humbly wish to make clear that I have no claim or can vainfully boast of expertise of any manner whatsoever in being able to produce the English version of Dohawali. The inspiration and egging - on came from my Lord Sri Ram and my Guru Sri Hanuman ji. At times, I felt completely lost and dejected, my fingers gave up and I wanted to stop midway -to throw-in-the-towel, so to say. But each time the towel was handed back to me, so what could I do? Hence, if successful, the credit for the present book goes to them; and for the faults and short-comings, it must be remember that I am an ordinary mortal who is profoundly astonished himself at the completion of this monumental work, and so am an object of forgiveness. So be it.
Lastly, this work 'Dohawali in English' is offered at the Holy feet of Sri Ram and Hanuman on a 'platter' of lovable affection with 'hands' of prayerful humility and unbounded devotion.
About the Book
This is the one of the major works of Tulsidas. The book contains the entire text consisting of 573 priceless, gem-like, 2-line verses of pristine beauty, with English translation and short explanations.
About the Author
Ajai Kumar Chhawchharia (b. 08/08/1955) Senior-Cambridge, B. Sc. (Silver Medalist), M. A. (Pub. Administration), Post Graduate Dip. Tourism and Hotel Management (Raj. University, Jaipur), Post Graduate Dip. Law (Taxation), (Anna University, Tamil Nadu) Dip. In Transport Management, Dip. In Homeopathy (MHM), Certificate in Vedanta with distinction (CIF, Mumbai) [Ex. Secretary Zoo, Association, University Science College, Jaipur Recipient of Award for Highest Marks (Zoology) B. Sc. Exam.].
Books Proposal: (a) Adhyatma Ramayan (Original Sanskrit)- from Brahmanand Puran, written by Veda Vyas [this is the basis of Tulsidas, Ram Charit Manas] (b)Ram Purva Taponishad(c)Ram Uttar Taponishad (d) Ram Rahasya Upanishad (Sanskrit+English+Hindi). These books are Dictated by Lord Ram, Hanumanji is the Writer, My Fingers are only an Instrument like an ordinary Pen. Credit goes to them. And the Fame goes to Abhishek Prakashan c/o Raman Choudhary, Delhi for Publishing them.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
Children’s Books (39)
Brahma Sutras (85)
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